Members news

Greenstream Flooring launch ‘The Better Greener Project’ for RCT residents

Greenstream Flooring has secured funding through the WCVA Active Inclusion fund and the Welsh Government European Social Fund to support residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf RCT who are over 25 and unemployed or economically inactive to learn about the green economy.

The active inclusion fund provides grants for projects in Wales that help disadvantage people get back into employment. The fund is an important way for voluntary organisations to tackle unemployment in the wake of Covid-19.

The training will take place at the Greenstream Flooring offices and warehouses over a three-week period where participants will learn about the green economy whilst gaining skills and experience in the sector.

For further information, visit the Greenstream website.

15 Millionth Wales funded tree planted in Uganda

The Mbale Trees project – funded by the long-standing Wales and Africa programme – aims to plant over 3 million trees a year in the hilly, heavily deforested area of eastern Uganda in a bid to increase community resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Working with Size of Wales and the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE), free tree seedlings are distributed to local people to be planted on smallholdings and land in the community, along with fuel efficient stoves and advice and support for other livelihoods, like bee-keeping.

The project links with the Welsh Government’s Plant! Scheme, planting two trees for every child born or adopted in Wales – one planted in Uganda and one planted here in Wales.

In recent years Mbale has been affected by heavy rainfall and fatal landslides, caused by a combination of climate change and excessive logging due to poor enforcement of protection laws and a growing population.

Fast-growing trees protect local people from the effects of soil erosion and fruit grown offers a sustainable source of food and an extra income.

The 10 millionth tree milestone was achieved in autumn 2019, with First Minister Mark Drakeford marking the occasion by planting a tree in Cardiff’s Bute Park as another was planted Uganda by a young climate change activist.

Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, whose portfolio includes Wales and Africa, said:

For more than a decade Wales has developed and deepened its community-based links with sub-Sahara countries in Africa. This mutually-beneficial approach has long supported sustainable development and solidarity, of which we can be justifiably proud. On top of planting 15 million trees – a fantastic achievement in itself – Wales has helped to protect an area of tropical rainforest twice the size of Wales and supported 16,000 families across 30 villages who may have otherwise faced severe hardship.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said:

The Mbale Trees initiative is an example of what can be achieved when nations work together to combat climate change. Our pledge to plant 3 million more every year for the next 5 years will deliver substantial benefits, not just for those within Mbale, but it will have a considerable global impact on climate change. This flagship scheme is another example of Wales leading the way in sustainable development and action on climate change, for all.

Director of Size of Wales, Nicola Pulman, said:

We are delighted to have hit the landmark of 15 million trees. It is a testament to the hard work of the communities and local organisations in Mbale who have worked tirelessly to make it happen. Every tree grown benefits the local area, but also helps strengthen our planet’s resilience to the threat of climate change. We therefore encourage everyone in Wales to support the programme in its next phase and help us reach our ultimate goal of 25 million trees by 2025.

Godfrey Natwaluma, Programme Manager at the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE), said:

We are proud Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise has supported over 30,000 households in 6 districts to plant trees. These districts have all previously experienced the devastating landslides. Since 2010, we have at least distributed 15 million trees and counting and we are optimistic that by the year 2025, we shall have supported our target communities with 25million trees. Our technical field team, through implementing partners, have been in position to monitor the production process of tree seedlings right away from a network of 45 community tree nursery beds that we have as an organization, and we plan to expand the project to further regions.

Greenstream Flooring CIC – 2020 Social Impact Report

During 2020 Greenstream diverted over 51,100m2 of otherwise wasted carpet for the benefit of the community and was also instrumental in providing support to the “Floored Report,” which highlighted the important impact that carpet has on Welsh housing standards.

The report also features the work Greenstream do with eight housing associations as part of its Affordable Flooring project and how it supports people in the local community with low-cost flooring.

With 11 employees in the business and a mission to create opportunities through sustainable employment, the report goes on to include the important work the company does for local people through providing jobs and training through its advocacy work.

Ellen Petts, founder and managing director, Greenstream Flooring CIC, said:

“Reusing and repurposing carpet tiles that are no longer required is the bedrock of how we can continue the success of our business. We all need to play our part in understanding what the circular economy can bring to the future of our planet. Understanding the consequences for our children and grandchildren, if we do not change our ways of disposing of not just carpet tiles, but everything we no longer require, is of vital importance.

“We are looking forward to a year where we can work even more closely in partnership with organisations who share our vision to eliminate waste and to keep products in use for longer.”

Some key facts from the report:

♻️  Diverted over 51,100m2 of otherwise wasted carpet from landfill

♻️  Donated 5,700m2 of material to those in need

♻️  Supported 129 low-income tenants through our Affordable Housing programme

♻️  Held 17 free giveaway days

♻️  Employed 11 people.

To download the report, click HERE

For information on Greenstream Flooring CIC please visit www.findcarpettiles.co.uk

Carbon Literacy logo

Grasshopper Communications Takes First Steps in Becoming Carbon Literate

One of our members, Grasshopper Communications recently completed Carbon Literacy training with us. This is how director, Hannah Dineen feels the training has impacted the organisation to take action on climate change both internally and on a personal level…

Many of us may feel we care about the climate change emergency but feel overwhelmed about how much information is out there and how to take action to actually make a difference.

For me personally, having just attended Cynnal Cymru’s Carbon Literacy Training, I feel better equipped to take action to make a difference to reduce my carbon footprint and carbon offset.

So, we’re all aware the world is getting warmer and we’ve got a climate emergency. The NASA time machine has helped me to clearly visualise how the earth’s key climate indicators (sea ice, sea level, carbon dioxide and global temperature) have changed over my lifetime.

So how will this affect you and me?

Climate change is already happening before our eyes. Rainfall patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable with a shift towards a ‘feast and famine’ regime. The potential for declining water availability and potential water scarcity is likely to have a negative affect on agricultural (crop or pasture) production resulting in food price spikes.

The floods in South Wales in February 2020 hit the poorest communities, many of whom lacked insurance to cover the cost of the wrecked belongings and struggling to pay for repairs.

Rising sea levels is threatening many of our flood defences.  Defending seaside towns and villages, roads and railways will prove costly and unsustainable. Natural Resources Wales are therefore exploring opportunities for nature based solutions and adaption to our coast.

Climate change is also changing the patterns of migratory birds and increasing pests and diseases. The RSPB has responded by exploring different management techniques.  The parts of the Ynyshir reserve in the Dyfi estuary has now been allowed to flood during high tides and storms, creating a much needed new marshland for the migrating birds.

So how can we make a difference? 

DRIVERS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Our use of energy is one of the major contributors to climate change. We need to reduce our energy consumption and our reliance on fossil fuels. For starters, we could all switch to a green energy provider or invest in a community energy share offer.

The Welsh Government has set a target for 70% of Wales’ electricity to be generated by renewables by 2030. The Welsh Government report ‘Energy Generation in Wales : 2019’ shows positive signs towards meeting the target and estimates that 51% of electricity consumption comes from renewables.

Additionally, renewable energy projects bring co-benefits, for example Vattenfall’s Pen y Cymoedd wind farm in the South Wales Valleys, has supported over 100 local jobs and an annual investment of £1.8m to make a difference to the lives of local people.

The construction and running of buildings is a significant contributor to our carbon footprint. Whether it’s school, hospitals, offices or homes, the development sector is striving to achieve net zero buildings. We are looking forward to delivering communications on behalf of a collaboration of 68 partners, managed by Sero, that has just been awarded £7m of Welsh Government’s  Optimised Retrofit Funding to roll out the large scale decarbonisation of homes across Wales.

The Royal Town Planning Institute’s campaign ‘Plan the World We Need’ is calling on governments across the UK and Ireland to capitalise on the expertise of planners to achieve a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery and meet net-zero targets by 2050.

The recent Cynnal Cymru event, ‘Greening the Screen’ showcased how the film production industry is becoming more sustainable.  Arup’s recent research ‘A Screen New Deal’ shows that  an average tentpole film production generates 2,840 tonnes of CO2e, the equivalent amount absorbed by 3,709 acres of forest in a year.  The report recommends the industry strive to reuse materials, design sets for deconstruction and repurpose thus additionally contributing to the Circular Economy agenda.

Roger Williams from Joio Production spoke of how sustainability was put at the heart of producing the latest series of Bang on S4C.  Commitment to deliver positive sustainable actions resulted in removing paper cups from set, only printing call sheets on request, advocating the use of public transport and sourcing costumes from local charity shops.

Communities are equally coming together to act. The Edible Porthmadog project shows how residents and school children have reused old boats as planters for fruit and vegetables to provide local produce to local people.  The Llani Car Club provides its 27 members access to a car (including electric car).  The members have shared how it has helped them to reduce their car mileage, car share more and learn how to use public transport.  The Awel Co-op runs two wind turbines on Mynydd y Gwrhyd, 20 miles north of Swansea providing enough energy to supply over 2,500 homes.  The profits help tackle fuel poverty and develop other renewable energy projects.

So, pause for a moment.  Do you know what you are contributing to climate change?  Why not calculate your organisation’s emissions or calculate your carbon footprint as a household? If you want to know more, ‘How bad are bananas?’ by Mike Berners gives an invaluable and entertaining guide that shows just what effect everything has on carbon emissions, from a Google search to a plastic bag, from a flight to a volcano.

The carbon literacy training has spurred me on to act and embed carbon reduction into my daily lifestyle and encourage others to do the same.

Our next Carbon Literacy open course takes place from 14-17 December, and spaces are now open.

Visit: https://bit.ly/CC_CarbonLiteracy

Size of Wales Job Opportunity: Advocacy Policy and Outreach Officer

[:en]Size of Wales are looking for an Advocacy, Policy and Outreach Officer to join our growing team. This role will be responsible for the day-to-day coordination of Size of Wales’ policy & advocacy outreach activities. These activities focus on a new campaign, launched by Size of Wales in 2020, to make Wales a “deforestation free nation” – moving Wales towards eliminating imported deforestation from our economy. The campaign encourages public bodies, businesses, community groups and individuals in Wales to commit to taking steps to eliminate imported deforestation from their supply chains. The campaign focuses in particular on imported beef, soy, palm oil, cacao and coffee.

The successful candidate will have a passion for environmental sustainability and experience of delivering successful advocacy, policy and community outreach work, ideally in Wales. We are looking for a creative and strategic thinker with excellent research, analytical and written communication skills.   You will be highly organised, able to manage your own workload and be ready to help drive forward this exciting and expanding area of Size of Wales’ work. We strongly encourage applications from Welsh speakers for this role.

The role is for 3 or 4 days a week and is offered as a fixed term employment contract for approximately 7 months (until June 2021) or as a secondment. The role may become a long-term position, subject to funding. Salary for the role is in the range of £22,000 – £27,000 (pro rata) dependent on experience. The package of benefits includes a 6% pension contribution, 30 days annual leave including bank holidays (pro rata) and a flexible working’ policy. The role is home based but working with a team based in and around Cardiff.

Applications by letter and supporting CV to recruitment@sizeofwales.org.uk (please put ‘Advocacy Officer, Size of Wales’ in the subject line.) Closing date for applications is 8th November 2020 but interviews are likely to be conducted on a rolling basis prior to the closing date and an appointment made sooner if a strong candidate is found.

For more information visit the Size of Wales website.[:]

Cynnal Cymru Update: Adapting to a New ‘Normal’

[:en]As we all adjust and adapt to a new ‘normal’, we wanted to give you an update on our plans for the coming months.

Among the challenges faced by so many at the moment, we are seeing reasons to be hopeful about the future. Precedents are being set as organisations adapt to new ways of working and members of our network are reaching out to each other to offer innovative support and help.

As things are changing rapidly, we will be sharing more regular ‘mini’ updates, in addition to our monthly newsletter, to keep you inspired and informed on the latest sustainability news, views and opportunities. You can sign up here for our free newsletter.

We are exploring new ways we can bring our networking, training and events online to continue sharing learning, challenging thinking and mobilising action.  For example, we are prioritising the creation of digital training on Carbon Literacy for housing associations, local authorities and businesses.

Next week, we are introducing a new weekly Cynnal Coffee Club to provide a shared space to capture learning and spark ideas for a more resilient Wales.

For Members, we will be setting up virtual networking, so we can continue to bring people together to share ideas and opportunities.

We’re also heartened to see so many inspiring initiatives springing up in our communities; supported by the generosity of individuals and organisations, so please let us know what is happening in your community and we will share as much as possible.

Thank you for your continued support and stay strong.

Sarah, Lynsey, Rhodri, Clare & Lois
Rainbow artwork provided by our temporary new co-worker Isla (7)
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Coleg Cambria Students Join forces With a Wildlife Organisation to Help Save the Red Squirrel Population

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Level 3 NVQ Animal Management learners at Coleg Cambria Llysfasi built feeders and nest boxes for the animals and monitored their progress at enclosures in Clocaenog forest, near Ruthin, during a reinforcement project.

They have been supporting the work of Red Squirrels Trust Wales and Natural Resources Wales, who are fighting to save the species following a century-long decline in numbers.

There are an estimated 120,000-150,000 reds in the UK – and as few as 15,000 in England – since grey squirrels were introduced into the UK from America in the 1870s. Previously, red squirrels were commonly seen throughout the country.

Cambria students have also been helping to save the local hedgehog population in partnership with Hedgehog Help Prestatyn and are exploring a new dormouse project, as the tiny creatures are also disappearing at an alarming rate.

Llysfasi lecturer Kirstie Fraser said the students are gaining vital experience as part of the conservation initiatives, and proud to be playing a part in their survival.

“The Clocaenog project has been a success so far with several captive-bred red squirrels released back into the wild to mix with the remnant population and boost genetics,” said Kirstie.

“They have been brought into the forest from various locations with the help of the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, and other breeding centres.

“The learners have also built feeder boxes with cameras trained on them so we can follow the squirrels’ progress, and they’ve cleaned and collected branches and greenery for the enclosures.”

She added: “Following health tests, the red squirrels were fitted with radio collars. Students were taught how to track their movements in the forest and then to analyse the data.

“It has been a brilliant project for them, and most importantly in trying to reverse the huge population decline.”

The red squirrel is officially classed as ‘Near Threatened’ in Wales, England and Northern Ireland but is a common sight in forests across Scotland.

The main cause of their demise was the introduction of grey squirrels in the 19th century; this species carries a Parapoxvirus disease, which does not appear to affect their health but does kill red squirrels, and they also out-compete the reds for food and other resources. A loss of woodland has played a major role as well.

Becky Clews-Roberts, who was Red Squirrel Ranger for the Clocaenog forest project, thanked Coleg Cambria for its support of the scheme.

“I would not hesitate to ask them for help again,” she said.

“They are a very hard-working group and take an interest in what they are doing. Many, many thanks to Coleg Cambria Llysfasi for your help.”

To support the red squirrels project and find out more, visit www.clocaenog-rst.org and https://www.redsquirrelsunited.org.uk/[:]

Ecosurety Launch £1million Exploration Fund

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Can you help us make a meaningful impact on the environment?

Over three years the Ecosurety Exploration Fund will invest £1million in projects that can reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE through innovation or research in the UK.

The £1 million fund will be spread over three years and the application process is open to any UK registered company, charity, not-for-profit or academic organisation. The winning projects will be selected by an independent judging panel that so far includes Peter Maddox, Director of WRAP, Libby Peake, Senior Policy Advisor at Green Alliance and Mike Barry, former Sustainability Director at Marks and Spencer.

How to get involved

Applicants can apply for up to £150k and the project could be led individually or collaboratively with other organisations to plan and deliver it.

Full information, including details about the submission criteria and how to apply, can be found here: www.ecosurety.com/impact/exploration-fund.

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Keep Wales Tidy team up once again with McDonald’s to tackle marine litter

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Following the success of last years All Wales Beach Clean, Keep Wales Tidy are targeting rivers and waterways, along with beaches across Wales in a month-long campaign.  In partnership with McDonald’s, Marine Clean Cymru will take place from the 20th of September to 20th of October.

Community groups, schools and businesses from across Wales will be joining the month of action, organising clean up events up and down the country.

Marine litter is a growing threat to our aquatic and coastal environment, with 80% coming from land-based sources. Since litter found in rivers, canals and waterways eventually makes its way into our oceans, the problem of marine litter isn’t just relevant to coastal communities.

Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy said:

“We’re all responsible for the health of our oceans, so it’s crucial that we come together to make a real and lasting difference to our marine environment. Join us to work in partnership on this clean-up campaign and show how we’re caring for Wales and the wider world together.”

Marine Clean Cymru is being supported by McDonald’s, with volunteers from restaurants up and down the country planning on giving up their time to clean up their local beach or waterway.

Franchisee Ron Mounsey, who owns and operates 16 restaurants in South Wales, says:

“I’m delighted that McDonald’s is involved in this fantastic campaign for the second year. As a business we understand the important role that we play in making Wales a cleaner place for everyone and an enjoyable place to live, work and visit. We’re committed to playing our part in tackling litter and part of this is by supporting this campaign to clean up our local beaches and waterways. I look forward to seeing the difference that the events up and down the country will make to our local environment.”

Marine Clean Cymru has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

To get involved, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website: www.keepwalestidy.cymru

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Yn dilyn llwyddiant Ymgyrch Glanhau Traethau Cymru Gyfan y llynedd, mae Cadwch Gymru’n Daclus yn targedu afonydd, dyfrffyrdd ynghyd a thraethau ar draws Cymru mewn ymgyrch dros fis.  Mewn partneriaeth â McDonald’s, cynhelir Glanhau Moroedd Cymrurhwng 20 Medi a 20 Hydref.

Bydd grwpiau cymunedol, ysgolion a busnesau ar draws Cymru yn cymryd rhan yn y mis o weithredu, gan drefnu digwyddiadau glanhau ar hyd a lled y wlad.

Mae sbwriel morol yn fygythiad cynyddol i’n hamgylchedd dyfrol ac arfordirol, gydag 80% yn dod o ffynonellau ar y tir. Gan fod sbwriel sy’n cael ei ganfod mewn afonydd, camlesi a dyfrffyrdd yn gwneud ei ffordd i’n moroedd yn y pen draw, nid yw problem sbwriel morol yn berthnasol i gymunedau arfordirol yn unig.

Dywedodd Lesley Jones, Prif Weithredwr Cadwch Gymru’n Daclus:

“Rydyn ni i gyd yn gyfrifol am iechyd ein cefnforoedd, felly mae’n hanfodol ein bod ni’n dod at ein gilydd i wneud gwahaniaeth gwirioneddol a pharhaol i’n hamgylchedd morol. Ymunwch â ni i weithio mewn partneriaeth ar yr ymgyrch lanhau hon a dangos sut rydyn ni’n gofalu am Gymru a’r byd ehangach gyda’n gilydd.”

Cefnogir Glanhau Moroedd Cymru gan McDonald’s, gyda gwirfoddolwyr o fwytai ar hyd a lled y wlad yn bwriadu rhoi o’u hamser i lanhau eu traeth lleol.

Dywed Franchisee Ron Mounsey, sydd yn rhedeg ac yn berchen ar 16 o fwytai yn Ne Cymru:

“Rwyf wrth fy modd bod McDonald’s yn gysylltiedig â’r ymgyrch rhagorol hwn am yr ail flwyddyn. Fel busnes rydym yn deall y rôl bwysig sydd gennym yn gwneud Cymru’n lle glanach i bawb ac yn lle dymunol i fyw, gweithio ac ymweld ag ef. Rydym wedi ymrwymo i chwarae ein rhan yn mynd i’r afael â sbwriel a rhan o hyn yw cefnogi’r ymgyrch hwn i lanhau ein traethau a’n dyfrffyrdd lleol. Edrychaf ymlaen at weld y gwahaniaeth y bydd y digwyddiadau ar hyd a lled y wlad yn ei wneud i’n hamgylchedd lleol.”

Mae Glanhau Moroedd Cymru wedi cael cyllid trwy Gymunedau Gwledig Llywodraeth Cymru – Rhaglen Datblygu Gwledig 2014-2020, a ariennir gan Gronfa Amaethyddol Ewrop ar gyfer Datblygu Gwledig a Llywodraeth Cymru.

I gymryd rhan, ewch i wefan Cadwch Gymru’n Daclus: www.keepwalestidy.cymru

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25 September | It’s a Wonderful World

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Royal Welsh College Symphonic Brass and Percussion go green, in a concert with an environmental theme.

It’s up to musicians to look after the planet, too – and on 25 September the Royal Welsh College Symphonic Brass and Percussion go green, in a concert with an environmental theme. Featuring brand new brass and percussion instruments specially created for the event, and an energising 21st century programme, it’s a lunchtime concert to inspire as well as entertain. Sustainability has never sounded so good!

Tickets: £8 on the day, £6 in advance

Venue: Dora Stoutzker Hall

Booking via the rwcmd.ac.uk website[:]

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